UK citizens are set to dispose of 67 million items of clothing as UK comes out of lockdown.
One third of the UK citizens had a lockdown clothing clear-out with an on average 11 items of clothing no longer wanted. And 50% of UK citizens actively avoid generating clothing waste. Find out more about WRAP’s recent survey which looked at citizens’ clothing clear outs, storage and donation behaviours during lockdown.
Looking back to my last blog, it was the 27th April and the big debate of the day was how to open the 96% of HWRCs that were closed following the lockdown due to Coronavirus. In my authority ours were closed and we were working closely with our contractors to come up with a way to safely reopen them. Across the country there were almost weekly video conferences on the subject. At least they were a way of checking that my colleagues and peers were still alive and kicking!
Three months have flown by since I did my last Chair’s Piece for LOL, the small matter of a pandemic taking over normal operations! We decided that the LOL Covid-19 specials we were doing during this time were more useful in keeping our members informed of what was initially a fast-moving situation as we shared information and best practice of how the waste industry was adapting.
Personally, I have found it a very strange few months, and no doubt there are quite a lot of you, like me, now working from home or have had a lot of changes to how you work in your offices or depots.
Following the national campaign to get behind our frontline NHS staff battling the Covid-19 spread, there has been a new-found love for key workers generally. For the first time in my working career, our frontline waste collection teams have been praised and commended by the public for continuing to provide another vital, yet fundamental public service across our society and messages of thanks and pictures adorn many bins in my road! With this in mind, we might forget how dangerous our industry remains during this pandemic, and in how many ways.
COVID-19 has resulted in countless changes to our daily lives, but as lockdown restrictions gradually ease, can we seize the opportunity for stronger action to protect our planet and build a greener future?